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SMS (texting) and Chat are generic terms for two different means of communication from your phone.
When you "text" the message is sent to the receiving phone much like a regular phone call "over the air" cell to cell....It has nothing to do with the internet. When you chat you are using a software program and the internet to transfer the information from one phone to another. The term "chat" suggests yes you have to have an internet connection and will probably need a data package from your carrier as well.
Sad to say - you need to go get out your phone bill and call Sprint - they may need to fix their end of the internet connection. They often disconnect services you have paid for and can't use. In any case their tech support is pretty good. They can also reset your password and let you know your text message address.